A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ehhhh...What's up Doc?

This is a question you won't have to ask very often if you're like Bugs Bunny and consume carrots on a regular basis.  Of course it's important to include a good variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet, but just carrots alone have so much to offer.

One of the least expensive things I do is purchase organic carrots in bulk for $.99/lb, peel them, and cut them up into bite-size sticks.  They make for a great snack with mustard, peanut butter, or just by themselves.  Also, cooking these tasty underground plants really bring out their natural sweetness.  For a quick fix, I will just microwave steam them with other veggies I have around, but roasting with an assortment of root veggies is a great treat.

To make the roasted veggies I posted about on Sunday, I just chopped everything up to a similar size and roasted on a big cooking sheet/pan in a pre-heated oven at 375 degress for 50 minutes.  Just make sure to stir the vegetables around at least 3 times while cooking.  The veggies I roasted included, maroon carrots (first time for me to try), gold beets, purple potatoes, red onion, 7 or 8 garlic cloves, cherry tomatoes, and rutabagas.  You can add any spice you like to the mixture....I used cayenne, cumin, italian herbs (rosemary is great when roasting, but I was out), a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Most recipes call for more than just a drizzle of oil, but, although olive oil is healthy, its better when not heated (like on salad) as a lot of its beneficial properties are damaged when exposed to prolonged heat.

Carrots are easy to make a part of your diet, and you will be happy to add them.  Here is a quick list with some of their benefits:
  • Boosting immunity (especially among older people).
  • Reducing photosensitivity (beta-carotene protects the skin from sun damage).
  • Improving symptoms of HIV.
  • Easing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
  • Helping to heal minor wounds and injuries.
  • Reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Reducing the risk of high blood pressure.
  • Cleansing the liver, and when consumed regularly, can help the liver excrete fats and bile.
  • Fighting bronchitis.
  • Fighting infection (vitamin A keeps cell membranes healthy, making them stronger against disease-causing microorganisms)
  • Improving muscle, flesh, and skin health.
  • Helping fight aneamia.
  • Reducing acne.
  • Improving eye health.
Source at this site.

For more info, a great information source is http://www.whfoods.com/.

An extra bonus to eating carrots is that you can have fun repeating the classic Bugs Bunny line each time you snap into the sweet flesh of a crisp, fresh carrot.

As always, when in a food flavor bind......just add cayenne!!

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